Ending the “reign of egoism”: Tolkien and Le Pen’s granddaughter

Dr Joseph Pearce, now a Roman Catholic scholar in the USA but probably better known to most H&D readers for his days as a young NF activist and Bulldog editor in the 1980s, has just published a preview of the forthcoming film Tolkien.

Not without reason, Dr Pearce speculates that the new film will amount to “Wormtongue’s revenge”, and will seek to impose homosexual/bisexual themes that have nothing to do with Tolkien’s life and work.

H&D is not a religious journal and we do not concern ourselves with questions of personal morality or the private lives of individuals.

However it is interesting to read Dr Pearce’s article in the context of last year’s speech by Marion Maréchal Le Pen (granddaughter of French National Front founder Jean-Marie Le Pen) to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), an event where H&D used to be represented before the usual suspects ensured that our editor Mark Cotterill was excluded from the USA!

Marion Maréchal (as she now likes to be known to avoid confusion with her aunt Marine Le Pen), presented a challenge to Anglo-American conservative assumptions, which for at least the past couple of centuries have tended to be based on individualism.

Denouncing what she termed the “reign of egoism”, she pointed out:

“Today, even children have now become merchandise. We hear now in the public debate, we have the right to order a child from a catalog, we have the right to rent a woman’s womb, we have the right to deprive a child of a mother or father. No you don’t! A child is not a ‘right’. Is this the freedom that we want? No. We don’t want this atomized world of individuals without gender, without fathers, without mothers, and without nation.”

Analysing this CPAC speech for The American Conservative, Rod Dreher suggested that the contrast between Marion Maréchal’s speech and individualist philosophy normally encountered in such circles emphasised “how very, very Protestant most American conservatism is”, and that “even American Catholics are a lot more Protestant in how they think politically than they realize”. He also linked to an earlier commentary on the same speech by Michael Brendan Dougherty for National Review.

One doesn’t have to be a Catholic – or even a Christian – to get their point, nor does one have to be a racial nationalist. These ideas would be familiar academically to anyone who has read the works of Max Weber or R.H. Tawney (the latter was an Anglo-Catholic socialist).

Tolkien of course was a lifelong Catholic, and one of the underlying themes of The Lord of the Rings is the rejection of selfish power-seeking in favour of traditional community values – the values of the Shire as opposed to the values of Mordor.

H&D readers will justifiably fear that such values will either be absent or treated with postmodern contempt in the forthcoming Tolkien film.

Spare us the balloon slogans about freedom, identity, democracy and security…

Excellent 2006 article by Frank Kimbal Johnson reposted recently on the Guarding the Old Flag blog.

BLOGOSPHERE, 28 Dec 2009: There are ‘mostly other directed’ and ‘mostly inner directed’ people, and any amount of research has shown that the latter are quite a small minority of the population at any given time. There is a kind of social magnetism which draws people into ‘going with the flow’, as in crowd behaviour at outdoor and indoor events. On such occasions personal perceptions and judgement are usually submerged in the collective response. Hence the old Spanish saying that shepherds may change, but sheep remain sheep. But however rugged one’s individuality, the fact is we are all social animals and therefore obliged to take some interest in the way our society is governed. Neglect of this responsibility leaves the field open to career politicians with the ingrained conceit that they know best what everybody else should be doing and what matters most in the world. They like to call this megalomania ‘leadership’, when all it usually amounts to is self-serving bossiness and exploitation of the gullible via largely complicit mass media.

So when you hear someone disclaiming any interest in politics, you are probably in the company of sheep. Such complacency is of course fostered by bland assurances that British democracy is designed to protect the public good and ensure our most cherished traditions and aspirations inform government policy. Added to which we have the opportunity to choose between main contenders for political office at approximately five-year intervals, thus giving us the kind of government most people want.

So much for the theory. What really happens is that, over the years, certain factions contrive to subordinate the public to an ‘Establishment’ deeply entrenched behind complex legalistic barricades, and with its own self-serving agenda and priorities.

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